Summer approaches! Here are some tips from Navas to get the most out of your training regime.
It starts in your mind. The first step in any fitness regime is choice. Making that commitment in your mind to change and then the determination to follow through. It happens from the inside out. Once you've made a decision to change, that change is even possible, then you can go out and make it happen.
There's always time. Time isn’t something you have, it’s something you make. No one is perfectly time efficient - everyone is time ineffective in some area of life. Are you going to tell me you couldn't find 2 hours a week over the last three years? Of course you could have but you chose not to. Nothing wrong with that but it's not because you didn't have time. You didn't make time.
If you're very detrained please pick a fun activity to start. Go skiing, hiking, climbing, biking, whatever as long as it's so fun that doing it is it's own reward. Once you develop some skill in this first activity it makes the initial tedium of "pure" training like running or lifting weights more bearable - until you see results! Nothing like a cycle of squat training to absolutely revolutionize your biking or skiing. Once you see how pure fitness enhances other areas of your life it becomes much easier to keep that feedback loop going.
Nobody else has it any easier. From Arnold Schwarzenegger to marathon winners, champions aren't born that way. They all had to start somewhere. They took a good look at themselves, made a plan then they executed on it. They educated themselves and worked on mastering form and technique. Then practice and improvement. One step at a time just like you. That person you see in the gym who's absolutely crushing it? They are still doing it step by step, a few gains at a time, year after year. They are fighting the same battles but are further along. The real accomplishment is long term consistency.
Arithmetic. If you want to run 5km here are some steps. First just try to cover 5km - run, jog, walk, crawl. Just get it done. Then try and run it as best you can, rest as necessary, time yourself. Now you have a baseline. Try running it in measured blocks of distance. Then reduce the number of blocks until you can do it in one shot, even if you have to reduce your pace.
Just showing up isn't enough. Fitness is about intensity (speed, weight lifted), duration and frequency. You need to push at least one of these a bit further every time. It doesn't need to be a lot: go a little further before resting, add a bit more weight, do another set or interval, go a bit faster. Doing consecutive training days or double workout days more often. Sometimes the big accomplishment is just showing up. A fitter person is someone who can do more more often. You need to gradually become someone who can do more more often.
Intensity and effort are the boundaries to the next level. Fitness is a process of forcing your system to adapt to increasing challenges. So you need to keep pushing into those boundaries if you want to improve. Intensity describes how hard you're attacking those limits. Remember it's your current boundaries that got you where you are. If you're never uncomfortable you're not improving. Learn to love that discomfort. It means you're growing.
Some final thoughts.
- Stop counting calories. Don't eat sugary processed crap, eat less questionable meat, eat more fresh vegetables.
- Stop weighing yourself all the time. Worry about doing more stuff better more often and eating simply. Everything else will fall into place.
- This shit takes years. Learn to enjoy the process of challenging yourself - over time consistency is the only thing that will get results.